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Archive for November, 2009

Yeah, Right…

November 14, 2009 by

I received this newsletter this week.  Researchers are claiming to find a link between a whole foods diet and depression.  The innocence of it just astounds me.  We spent 10 months with Amy on a wheat gluten/milk free diet after a suggestion that this might be causing her psychosis.  Apparently, in some people, a chemical is produced in the brain as a reaction to these substances in their diet.  Failure!  What it produced was a 10 month stretch trying to de-gluten/dairy my family.  That diet is really hard to follow, not to mention expensive!  So, on top of trying to help Amy’s depression, I had to learn to cook for this diet.  Amazing…

November 11, 2009

Treating Adolescent Depression

Teenagers suffering from major depression eagerly desire to feel well, not just better. But there hasn’t been much evidence-based research on treating adolescent depression. Results from the Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study (TADS) add meaningful information that may help health care providers treat this mood disorder in young adults.

Whole Foods Diet May Protect Against Depression

Could your diet affect your risk for depression? That’s the question British researchers asked in a recent study of middle-aged adults. They found that eating whole foods was protective against depression five years later, while a less-healthy diet appeared to increase depression risk. Here’s the latest on food and mood.

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Spheres of Influence

November 11, 2009 by

I get so frustrated by Amy’s treatment sometimes. Why is it so hard to get a mental health professional to provide advice? After all, isn’t that why we take her there? During the early months of her treatment, we had so many questions and ideas but could not get advice.

After about a year, we discovered that we had to take control of the situation. We had to act as “case managers” for her treatment. I’m a manager by profession and I finally figured out that we had compartmentalized systems all affecting her. I called them the Spheres of Influence.
Amy’s Spheres were 1) her psychiatrist, 2) her therapist, 3) her school and 4) her family. All four had influence over her and her perception of reality. (If Amy weren’t depressed, there probably would have been another, 5) friends).

As Amy’s case managers, we had to make sure each Sphere was contributing to her improvement. Because I’m such a management geek, my husband and I had a brain storming session in front of an old blackboard at home to do this. We wrote each Sphere on the board and listed our thoughts on it.

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The Diagnosis

November 8, 2009 by

When I first heard Amy’s diagnosis, I felt as if my heart had been ripped from my chest.  She looked so terrified.  Her life was out of control and worse she couldn’t trust her own perceptions of life.

Amy had come to us a couple of days previously to tell us she had just tried to hang herself.  We went into full blown protection mode – we removed not only all of her belts but everyone else’s too.  All knives and sharp objects got padlocked in a tackle box.  She was never left alone.

I slept on the floor next to her bed to keep her safe at night.  Actually, I don’t think I slept as I couldn’t escape the grief.  What did I do wrong?  Did I not hug her enough as a baby?  Did we not give her enough praise?  Did I not (insert any parenting behavior) enough?

The words used by mental health professionals: depression, schizophrenia, suicidal, anxiety, paranoia, bi-polar, etc, take on a meaning of something more dire.  You feel like you failed your child in a very serious way.  Things weren’t supposed to happen this way.  None of our parenting mistakes were supposed to create such severe consequences.

After a few weeks, we were able to believe that we were not to blame.  Until I achieved that, though, it was so hard to try to find a way to help Amy.  I kept trying to change my behavior to fix her.  I had to learn that I needed to help her find the fix.  Fixing me was not the problem…

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